Let’s face it. Most people are intrigued by the idea of working at sea. For us seafarers, it’s routine to be asked about life onboard, be it from passengers or friends and family.
Speaking from my own perspective, which might differ from the rest – these are some of the points to consider before applying for a cruise ship job:
1. Being away from home for at least 6 months.
Most contracts range from 6 – 9 months and this means long days without seeing your loved ones and being in familiar territory, eg. Your bed.
2. Sharing a small space with someone.
Most positions on the ship requires you to share a cabin with a roommate. If you enjoy being by yourself, this might be a little challenging.
3. You have other duties apart from your regular job.
This means that not only am I working on retail but I’m also a stairway guide during crew and passenger drills, I have embarkation duties and yes I also work the x-ray machine sometimes.
4. Nobody cleans after you.
Unless you pay the cabin steward to do it for you. But yeah, you do your own laundry, clean your cabin…you get the idea. The company offers complimentary laundry for uniforms but sometimes it’s easier to dump everything into 1 load.
5. You don’t get days off
Like how can I even forget this super important point? Most people react with horror or sympathy whenever they hear this. Crewmembers do not get days off. We do get shore leave and hours off though.
Most retail and casino staff tend to have the “easiest life” apparently as it is dictated by law that we’re not allowed to operate when we dock. For this itinerary that I’m in currently, we have an overnight in Russia so yes, there’s a day off for me!
These are the 5 basic points and yes there’s plenty more considering how different people are but still. Signing off now because I want maybe a 30 minute nap.
Naps are a luxury.